Throughout 2013, teams of student and alumni entrepreneurs are developing business plans for Lewis & Clark’s first venture competition. The initiative is part of Lewis & Clark’s emerging entrepreneurship program, which is designed to help students translate their liberal arts knowledge and experiences into practical skills for success beyond college.
Meet the Teams
Announced in January, the competition was open to teams of students from any of Lewis & Clark’s three schools and alumni from the classes of 2011 and 2012.
Initially, the competition attracted more than 40 teams. From there, 11 teams were selected to develop business plans with the support of an entrepreneurial mentor.
Over spring break, these teams participated in a series of workshops to help them learn more about what it takes to develop and launch their ventures. They covered topics such as market analysis, networks, business financials and plans, and branding.
In late April, the teams competed in the institution’s first Pitch Day, a chance for each team to pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges. At the close of the event, five teams were selected to receive continued mentoring and seed funding to support their ventures during the summer.
“Pitch Day is the single most exciting thing I’ve been part of in my 12 years at Lewis & Clark,” says Brian Detweiler-Bedell, academic director of entrepreneurship. “I’m proud to be part of a competition built around mentoring, relationships, and learning.”
Over the summer, the five finalist teams continued to develop their ventures, and a final round of pitches was held on October 4th. Portland Mushroom Company was awarded $20,000 in further funding, and RootED Recovery received $10,000. Congratulations to all of the teams that participated in this year’s competition! (The competition is funded by an anonymous alumnus and spouse.)